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Children's centre honours a friend

by Robert Hirtle


On hand at the Ocean View Children's Centre July 14 for the dedication of a planter constructed to honour the life of Madi Rae Burch were, from left, Brenda Forest, owner-operator of the centre; Madi Rae's best friend Ellie Kilburn; her grandfather Don Burch; and Rev. Dan Green.
 EAST RIVER - Madison Rae Burch's life may have been short, but it will not be forgotten, at least not by staff at the Ocean View Children's Centre in East River.

 The popular youngster, who was known as Madi Rae by her family and friends, attended the centre for about a year and a half.

 In August 2009 she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, and, despite chemotherapy treatment and a bone marrow transplant, she succumbed to the disease this past February, one month shy of her fourth birthday.

 In memory of the youngster a planter has been erected outside the centre. It now houses flowers planted by her grandmother, Lorraine Burch, as well as the facility's signage.

 One room of a recently completed new extension has also been christened in her name.

 "She was three years old, her little friends are here and we still do a lot in memory of her," explains Ocean View's owner-operator, Brenda Forest. "We built a new extension and one of the rooms upstairs is named the Madi Rae Room in honour of her. It's her favourite colours, her little Tinker Bells and other things."

 On July 14, Rev. Dan Green of the Chester United Baptist Church blessed the new planter, remembering Madi Rae and the impact she had on everyone she met.

 "It is said that Madi redefined the meaning of courage; taught us the power of spirit, determination and joy; inspired doctors and scientists to solve cancer's mysteries; and left everyone with wonderful lifelong smiles and memories," Rev. Green said. "She was strong, fearless, loving and happy through her short life. Madi always had a smile for everyone."



posted on 07/19/11
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